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In order to complete this disunion, in which we have gone so far, he would not have us rely upon exhausting the French treasury, attempts on the Spanish Indies, descents on France, but chiefly upon out-numbering them in troops, France being already drained of her best supplies, and the confederates masters of much greater forces for multitude and strength, both in men and horse, and provided with generals of greater fame and abilities.
He then considers the wrong measures we have hitherto taken in making too small levies after a successful campaign, in regulating their number by that of the enemies' forces, and hiring them of our confederates; showing, at the same time, the inconveniences we suffer from such hired troops, and seyeral advantages we might receive from employing those of our own nation.
He further recommends this augmentation of our forces, to prevent the keeping up a standing body of them in times of peace, to enable us to make an impression on the enemy in the present posture of the war, and to secure ourselves against a prince, who is now at the head of a powerful army, and has not yet declared himself.
In the last place, he answers by several considerations those two popular objections, that we furnish more towards the war than the rest of the allies, and, that we are not able to contribute more than we do already
These are the most material heads of the following essay, in which there are many other subordinate reflections that naturally grow out of so copious a subject.
W A R,
The French are certainly the most implacable, and the most dangerous enemies of the British nation. Their form of government, their religion, their jealousy of the British power, as well as their prosecutions of commerce, and pursuits of universal inonarchy, will fix them for ever in their animosities and aversion towards us, and make them catch at all opportunities of subverting our constitution, destroying our religion, ruining our trade, and sinking the figure which we make among the nations of Europe : not to mention the particular ties of honour that lie on their present king, to impose on us a prince, who must prove fatal to our country, if he ever reigns
As we are thus in a natural state of war, if I may so call it, with the French nation; it is our misfortune, that they are not only the most inveterate, but most formidable, of our enemies; and have the greatest power, as well as the strongest inclination, to ruin
No other state equals them in the force of their fleets and armies, in the nearness and conveniency of their situation, and in the number of friends and well-wishers, which, it is to be feared, they have among us.
For these reasons, our wars with France have always affected us in our most tender interests, and concerned us more than those we have had with any other nation ; but, I may venture to say, this kingdom was never yet engaged in a war of so great consequence as that which now lies upon our hands. Our all is at stake, and irretrievably lost, if we fail of suc
At other times, if a war ended in a dishonour.. able peace, or with equal loss, we could comfort our. -selves with the hopes of a more favourable juncture, that might set the balance right, or turn it to our advantage. We had still the prospect of forming the samu alliance, or, perhaps, strengthening it with new confederacies, and, by that means, of trying our fortune a second time, in case the injustice or ambition of the enemy forced us into the field. At present, if we make a draw game of it, or procure but moderate advantages, we are in a condition which every British heart must tremble at the thought of. There are no second trials, no wars in reserve, no new schemes of alliance to which we can have recourse. Should the French king be able to bear down such an united force as now makes head against him, at a time when Spain affords him no greater assistance ; what will he do when the trade of the Levant lies at his mercy; when the whole kingdom of Spain is supplied with his manufactures, and the wealth of the Indies flows into his coffers; and, what is yet worse, when this additional strength must arise, in all its particulars, from a proportionable decay in the states that now makc war upon him ? It is no wonder, therefore, that our late king, of glorious memory, who, by the confession of his greatest enemies, was a prince that per
fectly understood the interests of Europe, should, in his last speech, recommend to his parliament the declaring war against France in these memorable words: “ You have yet an opportunity, by God's blessing, to secure to you, and your posterity, the quiet enjoyment of your religion and liberties, if you are not wanting to yourselves, but will exert the ancient vigour of the English nation : but, I tell you plainly, my opinion is, if you do not lay hold on this occasion, you have no reason to hope for another.”
We have already a dreadful proof of the increase of power that accrues to France, from its conjunction with Spain. So expensive a war as that which the French monarchy hath been carrying on in so many and so remote parts at once, must long since have drained and exhausted all its substance, had there not been several secret springs, that swelled their treasury from time to time, in proportion as the war has sunk it. The king's coffers have been often reduced to the lowest ebb, but have still been seasonably refreshed by frequent and unexpected supplies from the Spanish America. We hear, indeed, of the arrival but of very few ships from those parts; but, as in every vessel there is stowage for immense treasures, when the cargo is pure bullion, or merchandise of as great a value ; so we find, by experience, they have had such prodigious sums of money conveyed to them by these secret channels, that they have been enabled to pay more numerous armies than they ever had on foot before ; and that at a time when their trade fails in all its other branches, and is distressed by all the arts and contrivances of their neighbouring nations. During the last four years, by a modest computation, there have been brought into Brest above six millions of pounds sterling in bullion. What, then, shall we
suppose would be the effect of this correspondence with America, might the wealth of those parts come to them on squadrons of men of war, and fleets of galleons? If these little by-currents, that creep into the country by stealth, have so great a force, how shall we stem the whole torrent, when it breaks in upon us with its full violence ? and this certainly will be our case, unless we find a means to dissolve the union between France and Spain. I have dwelt the longer on this consideration, because the present war hath already furnished us with the experiment, and sensibly convinced us of the increase of power, which France has received from its intercourse with the Spanish West-Indies.
As there are many who look upon every thing, which they do not actually see and feel, as bare probability and speculation, I shall only touch on those other reasons of which we have already had some experience, for our preventing this coalition of interests and designs in the two monarchies.
The woollen manufacture is the British strength, the staple commodity and proper growth of our country ; if this fails us, our trade and estates must sink together, and all the cash of the nation be consumed on foreign merchandise. The French, at present, gain very much upon us in this great article of our trade, and, since the accession of the Spanish monarchy, supply with cloth, of their own making, the very best mart we had in Europe. And what a melancholy prospect have wc, if ever a peace gives them leave to enrich their manufacture with mixtures of Spanish wool, to multiply the bands employed in it, to improve themselves in all the niceties of the art, and to vend their wares in those places where was the greatest consumption of our woollen works, and the most con